Wednesday, August 24, 2011

KTIV’s Alert 4 School closing system

August 22, 2011

Patrick O’Donnell
Sioux Center

Dear Mr. O’Donnell,

We are writing you to give you the information you’ll need to access KTIV’s Alert 4 School closing system with the most advanced technology available today. Alert 4 features are designed to give you maximum flexibility while using as little of your time as necessary, and this service is free of charge. Alert 4 is optimized for speed, accuracy and security.

In addition, free mobile alerts are available for your Alert 4 announcements. People who sign up can receive a text message on their cell phones alerting them to your school announcements.  This can be especially important during weather that might cause power outages. This is a free service; although the user’s standard message and data rates will apply.

To begin using our service, people must first sign up at This requires a person to fill out brief form and provide their cell phone number. If anyone has questions about our service, you may direct them to a new mobile page we’ve built that answers frequently asked questions about mobile devices and services we provide. That page can be accessed by visiting, and clicking on the mobile tab on our site’s navigation bar.

Alert 4 allows you to enter your information, which immediately goes on-air and on-line, and sends a text message.  But, if you use the “Snowcap” system, your late-start or early-out information may not be getting to us at KTIV in a timely manner since that information must be manually entered.  By choosing KTIV for your announcements, you will reach the largest audience possible.

We appreciate and encourage you to use our Alert 4 System.  Let your parents, teachers, staff and students know that they can access the information several ways. They can watch KTIV News 4, go on-line to  and or sign up to receive alerts on their mobile device.

All of the information you need to begin using the new system is provided in this letter.  If the options provided don’t cover what you need to communicate, you can still call in your closings.  The direct number to the KTIV newsroom is (712)-239-4100 ext.245.  We take great pride in providing this information as a public service to the community, and look forward to working with you.

The First Day of School is in the Books

And what great day it was.  As I walked through some of the classrooms I was impressed by the staff and students alike.  The enthusiasm was outstanding.  I feel we are blessed to have quality professional people in our system. 

On Monday of this week we looked at what are the characteristics for excellence in eduction.  These characteristics are:

Key Feature 1: High Universal Standards
  • Raise aspirations and define educational excellence,
  • Make educational objectives transparent to students, and
  • Provide a framework for teachers
Key Feature 2: Accountability and Autonomy
  • Move responsibility to the front line,
  • Encouraging responsiveness to local needs and
  • Strengthening accountability systems.
Key Feature 3: Strengthened Teacher Professionalism
·         Recruit strong teacher candidates,
·         Promote sound subject-matter preparation,
·         Offer induction programs that support new teachers during their first few years of teaching, and offer
·         Ongoing professional development.
“Teachers are on a par with other professionals in terms of diagnosing problems and applying evidence-based practices and strategies to address the diversity in students' interests and abilities.”

Key Feature 4: Personalized Learning
“In world class schools, teachers are responsible for engaging constructively with the diversity of student interests, capacities, and socioeconomic contexts.”

Reflecting upon the Sioux Center District and the work that has been the focus for several years, the pieces of the puzzle are in place for us to take the education of our students to another level.  I believe that the leadership at all levels of the district is ready to accept the challenge.

It is going to be a great year. 

I want to thank you for your support of the Sioux Center CSD!